The Candy Files: Flea Market School Special

What's hot, what's not and what's what at my place. This week:

House Candy = Flea Market Wins

You may have noticed I've been bossing my flea market game of late? In actual fact it's been a few year's in the making, this finely tuned skill I have developed, whereby I can loot a second hand market in 15 minutes flat, returning with *mostly* covetable house candy.

Drawers, pink vase and mirrors are just a few of my "vintage" flea market trophies.

Drawers, pink vase and mirrors are just a few of my "vintage" flea market trophies.

I am in fact a self made Flea Market Pro and I don't mind sharing a few tips with you right here. 

1) Go with as much cash as you are willing to spend and nothing else. Do not be tempted to take a debit card and draw out more from the nearby cash machine. If you can't afford it, walk away. 

2) Go with an open mind. If you are looking for an old butler's sink, I can promise you that you will find everything BUT the kitchen sink come market day. Three week's later when you've sourced one near enough to the one you want on Ebay and travelled to Berwick on Tweed for it, that's when the exact mother f**ker - the sink of your freakin' vintage dreams will turn up at the local market.  So to avoid this disappointment and the associated expletives, be open to whatever treasures fate has put in your way that particular day. This week it was peacocks.

That day Peacocks were trending at the flea market

That day Peacocks were trending at the flea market

3) Don't lose out over a quid. Ok so this kind of contradicts point one above, but I have seen it happen where a trader wants £6 for a lovely old vase that has quite clearly delighted a punter. The potential buyer caresses it, they turn it upside down, frown a bit for effect and offer £4 because, of course, most market shoppers come to barter.

"Best I can do is £5", says the trader who incidentally has been there since 6am and is just trying to make a living by way of a dirty, smelly house clearance.

"Pah! says the punter, you're having a laugh!" And walks away.

And yet no one is laughing, least of all me, who has mild anxiety and promptly offers full price for the beautiful vintage vase, which SURELY will bring six quids worth of joy?

On the other hand, traders aren't dumb. When they look you up and down before giving you a price that's above what's worth arguing over, barter the hell out of 'em. That's not playing nice. See point 4) below.

4) Go in your scruffs. Look poor as a beggar boy/girl if you can and drop the posh accent. Mind your ps and qs tho. There's no excuse for bad manners is there? 

5) Pack your bags. There is no worse feeling than skipping home with the 1950s coffee jug you've been watching on Ebay and getting it home to find the lid got cracked in transit. A good market trader will wrap valuable breakables in newspaper but those sturdy supermarket shopping bags with a flat bottom?... they are arm candy for the savvy salvage hunter.

Above all, when it comes to vintage/flea market shopping, remember what my mentor Sarah Moore off of Money For Nothing just tweeted after congratulating me on the sofa scoop below. Sarah says (and Sarah knows); "You only get one chance with a one off vintage find. Don't let it get away."

Find a brief rundown of some great places for a rummage at the end of this post.

Fine and Candy = Flea Market Snobbery

The room flea market snobs love to hate

The room flea market snobs love to hate

Some people wouldn't be seen dead at a flea market; like my husband for example. I get that. My advice? stay well away. You won't like it any more than you thought you would. If you haven't got the bug already it's unlikely you'll catch it, but you may well catch something a lot more unpleasant while you're there. That said, you can always go and get a good steaming hot cuppa and watch everyone else buy someone else's dirty rotten cast offs. Some days I think it could turn into a sport.

Candy Pandy = Flea Market Fleas

It's always a concern that you get more than you bargain for with a flea market scoop. I prefer my loot to be free of any life forms and whole heartedly recommend the Bissell product range for removing stains and odours from soft furnishings. This bad boy is fast becoming my best friend.

Bought any absolute beauties at the flea market recently? I'm still plugging away with the #myhousecandy hashtag on Instagram because it would be so cool to share each other's vintage wins don't you think? Please, follow me over there, where I promise I will show you mine, if you will show me yours. Which b.t.w is generally how the vintage community jams ;-)

Happy house candy hunting all. What do you think of my scoops? I'd love to know your thoughts. Please drop me a comment here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Thank you to one lovely reader who asked for some recommendations on flea markets in our local area of West Yorkshire.

In Huddersfield we have a second hand market twice a week on Tuesday's and Thursdays. It's a mixed bag of house clearances and more specialist vintage-ish stalls but always very fairly priced. Check out the outdoor market in your own area for similar and don't forget to give the local car boot sales and charity shops a once over too.

Our local household recycling site has initiated a genius outlet for salvageable homewares where all proceeds are donated to charity. They basically loot the skips so you don't have to. Even I have my limits and aside from saving me the humiliation of diving in the tip after a wonky lampshade, it feels doubly good to know you are reducing land fill and at the same time donating cash to a good cause.  

Of course, if you'd prefer to get your vintage scoops pre-sourced and also all shiny and cleaned up by someone who actually knows what they're doing, specialist vintage markets are the place to go.

Check out these sites for some hot beds of pre-loved, swoon worthy house candy near you. 

http://www.vintagehomeshow.co.uk/buy-tickets

http://www.judysvintagefair.co.uk/

http://www.ukvintagefairs.com/

Claire xx

How I'm (not) handling Hygge

I'm struggling with this Hygge thing. 

For a start, here's a word (a funny one) that shares lots of letters with the word Hygeine and yet none of the sentiment. All that cocooning oneself in faux fur, fire on full blast, whilst slurping endless cups of hot chocolate. Isn't it a bit, um, sweaty?

My hotbed of hygge

My hotbed of hygge

I hygge dabbled last Saturday. I bought the boys furry bear shaped onesies, lit ALL of the candles and answered the door to the pizza delivery guy wearing my PJ's, dressing gown and fur lined slipper boots at 7.30pm. I experienced my first hot flush.

I don't want winter to feel like the menopause. Turns out I'm not overly keen on hibernation mode, especially since I bought a 70s inspired wide brimmed felt hat and realised November was the perfect month to do that Brigitte-Bardot/Paris in the fall look.

Way more me.

'Cos BB knows how to work winter

'Cos BB knows how to work winter

No, I like a bit of glamour to my winter. It's going to be a long, depressing season if we spend it mostly huddled together in front of the telly fighting over the last Caramel Keg. 

So my winter room update is still cosy, but it's also sparkly and a bit pink in places. In our house we'll be warm, but won't develop heat rash. We'll be zen, but not overly zonked. With the exception of Christmas Day night when we're so tired we will fall asleep dribbling Terry's chocolate orange down our new jumpers.

I've realised that for me to embrace this hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) concept, it needs a top layer of vintage glamour adding to it. I'm good with the furs, obvs; all winter looks need furs, but I need a bit more old fashioned twinkle than lots of the skandi looks we are seeing on the gram. I'm starting with a mirrored wall that can be gradually added to as I get more involved.

My winter room update featuring star mirror £80 by  Cox and Cox

My winter room update featuring star mirror £80 by Cox and Cox

The curtains are closed for so much longer these days and a wall of mirrors above the sofa helps me feel a bit less claustrophobic. Mirrors bounce light about the place, but its the contrast of the shiny reflective glass against the fluffier textures that gives this a lovely lick of glamour. 

I like to have a cluster of smaller mirrors rather than just one big one and it's great to find a mix of shapes to add interest too. I get a lot of bevel edged and gilt framed mirrors from junk shops and markets but I think it looks way cooler to throw in one or two modern shapes too. This brass star mirror from Cox and Cox is a game changer.

Brass star mirror £80  Cox and Cox

Brass star mirror £80 Cox and Cox

It looks fab propped up on the original period fireplace in my guest room but I couldn't see it enough up there in the attic, so for now it's here in the front room for a bit of glamorous star gazing.  

Cox and Cox are great at vintage style accents. In fact if you're not one for rummaging round second hand markets, they've created this 3 mirror collection that will give you a similar vintage effect to mine.

3 scollop edge mirror cluster £175  Cox and Cox

3 scollop edge mirror cluster £175 Cox and Cox

Then there's the candles. Hygge fans must get through a lot of candles over the course of the season, which begs the question, how long is one supposed to hygge anyway? 

The big white church candles are great but they flicker more than twinkle. Tea lights grouped together in vintage cut glass beakers on the other hand feel fancy enough to make a Saturday night in appealing. These gold rimmed babes were my favourite find from this week's junk shop rummage and will be perfect for a glamorously lit Christmas table too. My tip? use black tea lights which cast a pinky glow when lit.

And then there's the furs.

Chroma Faux Fur cushion £45  Anthropologie  

Chroma Faux Fur cushion £45 Anthropologie 

I'm doing a nod to nordic and a wink to pink with this beautiful Anthropologie number. It feels more like a kitsch stole slung carelessly around the shoulders of a cheeky cocktail dress than a middle aged mum in a onesie. I just think that's a better place to aim, don't you?

And while we're on the subject of a suitably glamorous way to lounge, there's this:

Silk velvet kimono £285  Toast

Silk velvet kimono £285 Toast

Give me a blush silk velvet kimono to lol about in and and I'll Hygge all you like.

Let me know your thoughts on this Hygge business. It's HUGE. What am I missing? Are you layering up like a good 'un or so totally over the hygge hype? Get in touch below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Claire xx

 

 

 

Get your glasses ON! How to train your eye to hunt out House Candy

They call me Hawk Eye. Be it a market stall, a charity shop or someone's kitchen, I can home in on House Candy at 20 paces. Why? because I'm programmed that way.

Recent vintage House Candy hoard

Recent vintage House Candy hoard

I devour interior magazines, drink up the free catalogues that clog up my letter box and snort Pinterest or Instagram images like they are crack cocaine.

Like my all time favourite vintage pop record, I Just Can't Get Enough. So much so, that I have become a professional House Candy Hunter (HCH). Stuff jumps out at me from a crowded market stall. I get a kind of tingly sensation when I sense House Candy is on my radar. Seriously, I'm weird.

If you like the vintage vibe and also like a bargain, but have not yet had the tingly feels, maybe you need to channel your vision? 

Here's my top 3 tips on what to look out for and the gorgeous, vintage style brands providing the current inspos for all you HCH's out there:

1) Coloured glass

Emerald green decanter and pretty coloured shot glasses proved an insta-hit this week

Emerald green decanter and pretty coloured shot glasses proved an insta-hit this week

I spotted this retro glass decanter peeking out from a market stall full of meh! and quickly realised, this is the power of coloured glass. Look out for jewel hues to add a gem-like beauty to the place and don't let no-stoppers be show-stoppers (see what I did there?). Even without their lids they can make a super cool stem vase. 

Bottles grouped together make a bit of a statement and give you that extra height too (the extra half inch we all aspire to).

Graham and Green know the score when it comes to vintage style accessorising and their new range is bursting with lush greens, emeralds and turquoises. They also have some cool decanter type bottles in their Autumn/Winter offering so if you don't take my word for it, take theirs.

Vintage style green bottle with stopper  www.grahamandgreen.co.uk

Vintage style green bottle with stopper www.grahamandgreen.co.uk

2) Candlesticks

Officially obsessed. Glass ones, wood ones and currently brass whimsical ones. They just DO something to a mantlepiece; y'know? I'm not massively romantic, which may surprise you, but I do love candlelight at dinner parties and Christmases. Oh and Wednesdays actually.

Brass candlesticks to light up my life 

Brass candlesticks to light up my life 

Brass accessories are enjoying a comeback so if you spot one of these cherubs looking for a new mummy, or a lovely leafy number (anything palm inspired is HOT) just hand over the cash, you could have the new Pineapple on your hands, you hear me?

Alternatively, purchase Plumo's fabulous monkey candlestick and swing from actual trees at the beauty of them.

Not so much cool as Brass monkeys inside thanks to  www.plumo.com

Not so much cool as Brass monkeys inside thanks to www.plumo.com

3) Mirrors

My fave vintage mirror and a stash of second hand market House Candy

My fave vintage mirror and a stash of second hand market House Candy

I've always collected vintage mirrors and can never pass up a bevel edged beauty to add to my collection. Some people are put off by imperfect patina. Not me. These are not for applying make-up, they ARE the make up, if you see what I mean. They use daylight to their advantage and make everything look prettier.

Everything Rockett St George sells is nailed on House Candy so take inspiration from their lovely mirror range, featuring antique styles or metallic details. Just LUSH.

Gold leaf effect mirror  www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk

Gold leaf effect mirror www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk

Hey, now I've given you all my secrets, maybe you could do me a favour too? If you are on Instagram please tag me in on any junk shop treasures you find and if you're posting a pic of your own eclectic home style please use #myhousecandy so we can all share in your smug HCH glory!

Happy House Candy Hunting, team.

Claire